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Friday 26

Where did the summer go? The folks at the Greektown Street Fest are telling us that theirs is the last fest of the summer. We don't wanna know! The shebang kicks off today with a 5K race and a two-mile walk at 6:45 PM, starting from the corner of Adams and Halsted; entry fees ($15 for the race, $10 for the walk) benefit the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. The fest itself runs from 4 to midnight today and from noon to midnight tomorrow and Sunday, on Halsted between Monroe and Van Buren; the requested donation for admission is $2. Call 868-3010 for more.

A lot of de-Sein-ing men and women will be hanging out at Navy Pier tonight for the sixth annual Zazz Bash, the fund-raising singles night put on by Sun-Times columnist Jeffrey Zaslow. The reason? It's a Seinfeld-themed evening, with games, look-alike contests, and such to keep people busy while they're looking for a love match. Admission is $20 at the door, with proceeds benefiting the Sun-Times Charity Trust, the Chicago Fund on Aging and Disability, and the local Alzheimer's Association. Emcees are Danny Bonaduce of the Loop and Roberta Gonzales and Nesita Kwan of WMAQ. It's in the ballroom of Navy Pier, at 600 E. Grand. Festivities are scheduled to last from 6 to midnight. Call 321-3010.

NPR darling Andrei Codrescu--whose work the New York Times with spot-on accuracy has described as defining "the tensions at play between humor and sentiment, between one-liners and aphorism, between immigrant optimism and dissident cynicism"--makes one of his periodic stops in Chicago tonight. At 7:30, at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells, he reads from his newest book, a collection of his NPR essays called Zombification. The event's free. Call 642-5044 for details.

Saturday 27

You won't be able to swing a cat without hitting a psychic in Hammond as the J & M Psychic Fair hits town. The star of the event is Chicago's own Irene Hughes; also appearing will be Marlena RockLady, who communes with "a giant display of psychic rocks and crystals." The fair offers aura photography, too. It's $5 today, $3 tomorrow (though a private consultation with Hughes is considerably more) at the American Inn, 4000 Calumet in Hammond. Hours are 9 to 7 today and 10 to 7 tomorrow. Call 708-885-1177 for more info or directions.

It's time once again for the Air & Water Show, the event that each year turns a good part of the north side into a noisy congested mess. You know the drill: the Blue Angels, the Navy's corps of precision flyers, and other groups--with names like the Lima Lima Flight Team and Team America--do spins, rolls, and other stuff at hundreds of miles per hour. Things get under way today and tomorrow at 9:30 AM with the Offshore Grand Prix Powerboat Races; the flights begin at noon each day and last until 3:30. It's all free, if you can find a place around North Avenue Beach to watch. Call 744-3315 for details.

Author George Fraser says blacks looking to further their careers or make their businesses grow need one thing: a "Soul-O-Dex." More of his tips are in Success Runs in Our Race: The Complete Guide to Networking in the African American Community. Fraser will be signing his book at the DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl., at 6 tonight. It's free. Call 708-345-3735 for details.

Barbershop quartet singing is alive and well at the annual Sweet Adelines Show of Champions; if you're a fan of the genre, it might be worth the drive to Joliet. The Sweet Adelines showcase the distaff side of barbershopping and help raise money for two quartets--Chicago Fire and Midnight Magic--who'll be representing Chicagoland in the international competition, held this year in Reno. Those two quartets, along with the Melodeers Chorus from Northbrook and the Choral-Aires from Westmont, each 100 strong, perform starting at 8 tonight at the Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago in Joliet. Tickets are $12 and $15; call 815-726-6600.

Sunday 28

Who'd have thought that the Forest Home Cemetery in staid, suburban Forest Park would include the remains of a quintet of political martyrs? Indeed, the cemetery has its own Dissenters Row, which features not only the five men hung for their alleged roles in the Haymarket riots but also rabble-rousers like Emma Goldman and William Foster. The site also hosts baseball player and evangelist Billy Sunday and miscellaneous Hemingways. You can learn about all these and more on a tour that starts at 5:30 this evening. It's $3; the cemetery is at 863 Des Plaines Ave. in Forest Park. Call 708-848-6755 for details.

Monday 29

At the Art Institute through January 22, Knotted Splendor: European and Near Eastern Carpets From the Permanent Collection features magnificent designs and highlights the various carpet-making techniques used in countries such as Spain, Egypt, India, Iran, and Turkey from the 15th to the late 19th century. The museum, 111 S. Michigan, is open 10:30 to 4:30 weekdays, save Tuesday, when it's open till 8. Saturday, it's open from 10 to 5, Sundays noon to 5. There's a $6.50 requested admission, $3.25 for students and seniors. Admission is free on Tuesdays. Call 433-3600 for more.

The proud parents of the United Center worked long and hard to get a first-class act for the opening of their brand-spanking-new arena. But Streisand turned them down, so for a debut act they're stuck with all-star wrestling. Getting the place off to a classy start: the World Wrestling Federation's SummerSlam. The main event features Razor Ramon taking on Diesel. Other bouts include a tragic brother-on-brother fight between Bret "Hit Man" Hart and Owen "King of Harts" Hart and Lex Luger versus Tatanka. Matches begin tonight at 6:45. Tickets, $10 to $35, are available through Ticketmaster, 559-1212. The United Center is at 1901 W. Madison.

Tuesday 30

A mid-16th-century portrait of King David by the northern Italian master Girolamo da Santa Croce, which shows the biblical king holding a lute, was given to the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art in 1973, but was a little worse for the wear, discolored and beset with scratches and holes. The work of the conservators who restored the painting is documented in the exhibit An Old Master Painting Restored, which opens today and will be on view through December 4. Admission to the the museum, 5550 S. Greenwood, is free. It's open 10 to 4 Tuesday through Friday and noon to 6 Saturday and Sunday. Call 702-0200 for more.

Wednesday 31

Remember, all you snorers, you're not just keeping your bedmate up--you could have some major health problems. Tonight, two Northwestern Memorial Hospital staff members, an otolaryngologist and a neurologist, will discuss some of those potential problems--hypertension, coronary artery disease, and apnea--and describe some solutions, including a new laser procedure. Their talk is at 6 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, at the corner of Superior and Fairbanks. There's a $10 entrance fee and preregistration is required. Call 908-8400.

The 16th annual Chicago Jazz Festival looms this weekend; you can get in the spirit of things with tonight's accompanying Jazz Club Tour from 6:30 to 11. A full dozen local clubs are connecting themselves with shuttle buses; one $5 ticket gets you transportation and admission into Andy's, the Underground Wonder Bar, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill, the Bop Shop, and many other fine joints. For a complete schedule of events or more information, call the sponsoring Jazz Institute of Chicago at 427-3300.


Thursday 1

When actor-director Jackie Chan made Drunken Master 16 years ago, he was already an action comedy star in Hong Kong; now, largely due to that film, he's an international one. In the new Drunken Master II, set during the collapse of the Manchu dynasty, Chan must stop a British gang from getting a piece of jade out of China. The film was a hit when it debuted at the Film Center in July, and now it's back for 12 more screenings. Show times are 6 and 8 tonight through Monday, with matinees at 4 on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5; the Film Center's at Columbus Drive at Jackson. Call 443-3737 for more.

Grand prize money totaling $150 dangles before the competitors at a talent show benefiting the Peoples Housing Community Arts Program, which organizes classes and events in the Howard Street area. Hosting tonight's show is Oba William King; competitors will be people who have previously performed at the Howard Theater's open-mike nights. They'll face off in three different age groups--kids, teens, and adults. The show starts at 8 at the Howard Theater, 1627 W. Howard. Admission is two bucks. Call 262-5900, ext. 125, for more.

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